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Baseball Holding On To 1st With 3rd Straight SCC Win

Baseball Holding On To 1st With 3rd Straight SCC Win image

The South Coast Conference hasn't been a friendly place for the Pasadena City College baseball team since it joined the league in 1987. The Lancers have regularly struggled in the SCC, including last year when it mustered just three wins in 24 games. First place might have been a fantasy last year for PCC. On March 9, 2010, first place is for real.

The Lancers won their third straight SCC game Tuesday, rolling to a 14-4 lead before hanging on to a 15-13 victory over Cerritos College at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. PCC remains tied for first place in the conference with a 3-1 record, improving its overall mark to 5-8.

Pasadena's 5-6-7-8 of the order bombarded Cerritos pitching as third baseman Ahmed Razi (2-for-5, double, triple), centerfielder Garrett Adams (2-for-3, 3 stolen bases), shortstop Mike Vasquez (3-for-4), catcher Brian Smith (4-for-5) combined to bat 11-for-17 with 9 RBI. Adams, Vasquez and Smith each knocked in 3 runs.

The top of the order wasn't too shabby either with leftfielder Enrique Reynoso (2-for-5, 3 stolen bases), second baseman Mike Flynn (2-RBI single in the third inning), and winning pitcher Max Romero (1-for-2, 2 walks) combining for 6 runs driven in. PCC finished with season-bests in runs (15) and hits (16).

Romero, working on four days rest after his 7-inning gem over East Los Angeles last week, overcame a tired arm to move his record to 2-2. The sophomore right-hander gave up 3 runs in the first inning, but held the fort for 5 innings, allowing just 5 hits, 4 earned runs, and striking out 4.

With Cerritos chipping away at the Lancers' lead, PCC Head Coach Evan O'Meara again called on Jon Paul Salazar in the ninth inning. With the potential tying run at home plate and a runner on second base, Salazar struck out Jake Mayoral and got DH Jacob Eaton to hit a dribbler to him for the final out and his second save in as many days. Salazar ruined a near-perfect day for Eaton who had reached base in each of his previous 5 at-bats (3 hits, 2 walks).

"We knocked the ball all over the yard today, really hitting well throughout the lineup," O'Meara said. "We asked Romero to pitch with a tired arm, and he gave us a gutty 5 innings. Salazar looks like he wants the closer job. The team is starting to believe in itself. I think our opponents are realizing we're not pushovers anymore."

One dubious note was the performance of PCC reliever Greg Bond, who likely set a collegiate record by hitting 4 batters in one inning (no records have been kept in that category). Bond's wildness occured in the sixth inning. Despite the HBPs, Bond did strike out 2 batters before relieved by Trevor Hendershott, who finished the inning.

 PCC continues its home stand Thursday, March 11 when it hosts El Camino College-Compton Center in a 2 p.m. SCC game.

[Photo--Garrett Adams rounds third base in Monday's win over El Camino.]

Release Date: 03/09/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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